In a report which comes off as something it felt obligated to address but with as little meaningful information as possible, a story at CNN.com tells readers that "Murder Is Out of Control" in Baltimore — to the point where the city is begging the FBI for additional help. The story is so utterly devoid of background that those who haven't followed the city's woes closely could read it and believe that the problem just came along this year.



Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik warned that the "town hall" debate on Sunday night will be nothing of the sort. "Expect more artifice than authenticity," warned the Sun headline. The imperatives of commercial television have molded and manipulated an illusion of democracy, Zurawik warned. He used a very recent example of Clinton calculation



When the Washington Post's notoriously inconsistent fact checker Glenn Kessler feels he has to defend Donald Trump against a false claim, you know it must be a whopper. That was the case with the meme which arose last week that Trump, in words found at the New York Daily News, "booted a fussy baby from a rally Tuesday because the tot was wailing over the businessman’s speech."

However, instead of giving several media outlets and the Hillary Clinton campaign the formal Four-Pinocchio "whopper" evaluation, Kessler merely gave Trump a "Geppetto checkmark" for telling the truth, and gave those who reported it and Team Hillary an unwarranted pass: "We can see why some reporters ran with this tale, based only on the videotape."



Earlier today, Tim Graham at NewsBusters covered a poll done by an Associated Press-led partnership which found that, in AP's words, "Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions."

The poll noted that "Nearly 90 percent of Americans say it's extremely or very important that the media get their facts correct." How ironic it therefore is that the Pulitzer prize announcements this afternoon contained two glaring failures to "get facts correct."



Just before the filing deadline, BLM activist Deray Mckesson joined the mayoral race in Baltimore on Wednesday evening and the national media took note. Maybe that’s because Mckesson was already the media’s appointed spokesman for the Black Lives Matter movement, being featured everywhere from MSNBC to CNN  to C-Span. What should’ve been a local news story was highlighted by all the major national media outlets, from the Washington Post, to the New York Times, even NBCNews.com, proving that his run has more to do with the media’s fascination with Black Lives Matter than an interest in local politics.

 



Those in the press who have insisted that the "Ferguson effect" is an urban legend will have a hard time explaining why the two cities with the most potential to be affected by this supposedly mythical phenomenon now have murder rates among the top 20 in the entire world.

St. Louis, Missouri, next door to Ferguson, where a leftist-"inspired" campaign of "protests," civil disorder and rioting began in August 2014, came in at Number 15, with a rate of 59 murders per 100,000 residents. The city's 188 murders in 2015 were up from 159 in 2014 and 120 in 2013. Baltimore, Maryland, where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake infamously admitted in April 2015, as public safety was deteriorating in her city, that "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that," was Number 19, with 344 murders (a rate of 55 per 100,000).



Tricia Bishop is back.

The Baltimore Sun deputy editorial page editor and columnist, who on January 7 advocated "a gun owner registry available to the public online — something like those for sex offenders," posted a follow-up on Friday, claiming that "Gun control advocates (are) the silent majority." Bishop is clearly put off by the ferocity of the blowback she received for advocating that the whole wide world — which she somehow forgets includes stalkers, leftist intimidators, criminals who would like to steal guns, and other criminals who would like to target the unarmed — should be able to know who does and doesn't own a gun in the U.S. Well, ma'am, you really didn't think that everyone you would like to expose for exercising their Second Amendment rights using a "model" similar to that employed for sex offenders would just sit there and take it, did you?



Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor at Baltimore Sun, also writes a biweekly column. Bishop was impressed three years ago when the White Plains, New York-based Journal News published an interactive online map showing "the addresses (and names) of all pistol permit holders" in two Empire State counties.

Very few others were. Though the outrage over the paper's move was (excuse the expression) fast and furious, the Journal News kept the database up for almost a month before removing it, and "somehow" allowed its raw data to be leaked. It hardly seems a coincidence that the paper laid off 26 employees, including the editor responsible for publishing the map, just eight months later. Bishop, apparently oblivious to the blowback and other consequences, wants to extend the idea to all gun owners nationwide.



The left's "screw up, move up" principle for career advancement appears to be at play again. Of course, the press is playing up the move-up, and ignoring the screw-ups.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, whose statements and strategies inarguably led to more property destruction and civil disorder than would have occurred if someone more responsible had been in charge during that city's April riots, has been named the next national president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. This means that the person who on the first night of rioting in that city publicly admitted that she "gave those who wished to destroy space to do that," and who a couple of nights later, according to a Maryland county sheriff, "gave an order for police to stand down as riots broke out," will now presume to speak for the Democrat-dominated group.



In case you missed it, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland have requested disaster relief assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recover costs incurred during that city's April riots. You read that right.

Yvonne Wenger at the Baltimore Sun predictably buried the lede in her May 26 story's third paragraph, giving uninitiated readers the impression that applying for FEMA assistance after a riot is something that is routinely done. (Perhaps, given the quality of today's journalists, she really believes that herself.) More critically, she forgot to remind readers that the city arguably deserves no help at all from any outside source, because the vast majority of the rioting's damage would have been prevented if Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had done her job.



Some of the nation's most influential newspapers sympathetically broke out the euphemisms for Obama as he prepares for unilateral executive action to "shield" some illegal immigrants from the rule of law, which they call "deportation relief." He's "cheered by reform advocates."



Who was Anwar Al Awlaki and why did the U.S. government kill him in a 2011 drone strike, despite his U.S. citizenship?

The latter question has been answered with the court-ordered release of a Justice Department memo justifying the action. Awlaki, held “operational and leadership roles” in Al Qaeda in Yemen and “continue[d] to plot attacks intended to kill Americans.”

The first question – who he was – is one many in the media won’t be too eager to revisit, because they got it spectacularly wrong for a long time.